Beethoven: Bagatelle, Op. 119 No. 1

Beethoven's Opus 119 is a collection of shorter works for piano. The Bagatelle is the first of these and displays his knack for placing entire worlds into mere measures. I could probably write a substantial, scholarly paper on just the last ten measures or so, but this post is meant to give you a broader …

Playing Piano in the Style of Mozart

Since the 18th century, Mozart’s music has inspired deep analysis and discussion for both performers and music analysts. I won’t go into too much detail, but if you found this post, you’re interested in how to “correctly” play Mozart’s music on the piano. In this post, I first provide a brief description of the long-discussed …

Twinkling Possibilities: Performance Tips and Theory Tidbits for Mozart’s 12 Variations on ‘Ah vous dirai-je, Maman,’ Part 2

Part 1 Last week we looked at the theme and first six variations of the famous "Twinkle Twinkle Variations" by Mozart. This week, we’ll pick up right where we left off with brief analyses of what Mozart does to make each variation unique as well as the physical piano techniques required to successfully play each …

Twinkling Possibilities: Performance Tips and Theory Tidbits for Mozart’s 12 Variations on ‘Ah vous dirai-je, Maman,’ Part 1

This post (in two parts) outlines the piano techniques required for success in each variation of Mozart's "Twinkle Twinkle Variations" and provides resources for success in each technique.

Chopin’s Architecture: Phrase Structure in Chopin’s Waltz in B Minor, Op. 69 No. 2 for Composers, Performers, and Listeners

One of the toughest parts of creating anything is figuring out how to start. The biggest issue for me is that there is just so much I want to write about, say, or do in a project that I get overwhelmed and many times end up pushing it off. There’s our answer: limit the scope of …

The Sound of Rain: Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude for Listeners, Performers, and Composers

170 years after his death, Chopin still captivates audiences with his music. His set of preludes that cover all 24 major and minor keys are a great starting place to learn how to analyze his work, as it can be dense. This post looks at the qualities that make us feel the melancholy of the …

Creating Magic: Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1

Claude Debussy's music creates magic wherever it goes. It frequently draws new students to the piano with the desire of playing his most famous pieces like Clair de lune and Arabesque No. 1. This post looks at how Debussy composed this music and what that has to do with being a performer of his music as …

The Power of Chopin’s Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28 No. 4

170 years after his death, Chopin still captivates audiences with his music. His set of preludes that cover all 24 major and minor keys are a great starting place to learn how to analyze his work, as it can be dense. An analysis of the Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28 No. 4 is valuable …

Tchaikovsky’s 7 Surefire Ways to Get Your Audience’s Attention

Tchaikovsky's 7 Surefire Ways to Get Your Audience's Attention

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) is known as one of the greatest romantic composers not only for his large body of work but also the intensity inherent in his music. It embodies the ideals of the romantic period by drawing on what's natural and intense emotion. In addition to his fame for these accomplishments, Tchaikovsky also …

A Farewell Waltz

On this day, October 17th, in 1849, Frédéric François Chopin passed away in Paris. "He had no predecessor and no successor.... Chopin came and departed like a comet from remote space," said Australian pianist, Ernest Hutcheson. History remembers Chopin as a morose and anxious man, one who composed a song to cope with his sorrows …